Access matters when things go to **&?)!

The COVID-19 pandemic brought a multitude of lessons along with it, on both the personal and professional fronts. From the business perspective, the pandemic turned things upside down across almost every industry. One of the biggest trends that the pandemic brought was remote work. While working from home (WFH), or telecommuting as it was called earlier, existed in some industries, the pandemic made WFH mainstream for everyone. From doctor’s offices, to SMBs to IT companies, almost every industry had to resort to remote operations to stay in business. This shift from on-site, brick-and-mortar offices to WFH brought along with it some serious challenges. This blog discusses 2 ways businesses leveraged technology to overcome the various challenges businesses faced with the sudden shift to the remote work environment.

Data access
This was one of the first and foremost challenges. When shelter-in-place orders and lockdown restrictions were imposed and people couldn’t get to work, the biggest question was, “How do we access data remotely?” Organizations that had already embraced the cloud to store and access data were clear winners in this round. Having data in the cloud meant their staff could access the data from anywhere. All they needed was an internet connection and of course a computer, tablet, or even a smartphone. Organizations that still relied on traditional methods of data storage including hard drives, on-site servers, etc., had a tough time getting their staff enabled to work remotely.

Productivity and engagement tracking
Another aspect companies struggled with as WFH became the norm was productivity and engagement tracking. When your staff is not in the office, how do you keep track of their productive hours and engagement levels? Also, there was the challenge of keeping the employees motivated and connected with the brand in the confines of a remote environment. This is where new software applications came into the picture.

These two different issues arose directly from the WFH scenario created by the pandemic. Without a solution to the first problem, WFH would be basically impossible. However, the existence of the internet and the trend toward cloud storage made access to work-related data possible. The second issue is more of a work in progress. How much employers will really need software applications to track remote work is problematic. In fact, it may, in many cases, be unnecessary. Research over the past year is indicating that WFH is actually increasing productivity. However, one thing is for certain, remote access from anyplace anytime to data is a permanent requirement.